The Turkish Mediterranian Coast. A couple of us actually spotted a whale in this harbor.
The archaelogy musems in a region called the “cradle of civilization” are pretty solid. This one was in Antakya (aka Antioch) and featured mostly Roman mosaics.
We explored the biggest souq (market) in Aleppo when the power just happened to have gone out. Possibly one of the most atmospheric experiences I've had this trip. I couldn't get a photograph to do it justice, but this one was close. I visited again later when the power was on, but it wasn't the same...
A hammam, or traditional bath, in the middle of the market. This is the room to relax and have some tea.
The grand mosque of Aleppo. The thing you see on the left is where you are supposd to wash yourself off before prayer.
The norias (water-wheels) of Hama. See the people in the distance for scale.
Paul Theroux described this castle as “the epitome of the castle of childhood fantasies.” It's the Crac de Chevaliers, built by the crusaders in the 12th Century. I think Theroux might've been a little overenthusiastic, but the place is pretty impressive.
The expansive Ruins of Palmyra, a desert oasis free city before it was a city of the Roman empire.
Inside the old town of Damascus, candidate for the oldest continuously inhabited city award.
This was a trip, haven't seen buses like these since Latin America!
Yeah. That kinda sucks.
The last professional storyteller of Syria.
The National Museum of Lebanon. A great little museum. The video about how they preserved the relics during the civil war was interesting to watch.
The Qadisha Valley. No pic I took really does it justice, but this one isn't too terrible.
Hike this trail in the Qadisha valley and you're likely to run into old monastaries and hermitages.
Baalbek, formerly of the Roman Empire, now known as being the foundation of Hezbollah. Hezbollah wasn't living in this part of town.
Beirut in a rare (for my visit) moment of clear(ish) skies.
Settlement hous in East Jerusalem. According to the protestors outside, a Palestinian family was forced out by the Jewish immigrant family that now lives inside. More than 20 protestors were being arrested each week, and had been for months.
The place where Jesus was crucified(?)
Inside the Jewish Quarter on Shabbat.
The western wall, all that's left of the second Jewish Temple
Dome of the rock, marks where mohammed ascended to heaven to meet Allah. Ask me about his conversation with moses sometime, it's pretty funny.
The number of Palestinian kids running around with toy guys was a little eerie.
A street in the Muslim Quarter of the old city, as seen from above
Sunset outside Jaffa gate
Nargile tobacco. My attitude towards the stuff is kind of like a vegetarian's attitude towards chicken. Most of my friends are fine with it, and I'm fine with hanging out while they try it. Not for me, but it's hard to escape.
The hall of records in Yad Vashem, the holocaust memorial. I was here to look up victims in my family. I think I found a few.
They don't beat around the bush here in Israel. This was in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv as seen from the biblical city of Jaffa
Poyke in the making.
Monument to Be'er Sheva's sister city!
okay, who thought that name would be a smart choice!?
Bethlehem, Christmas eve.
My view of the midnight mass in Bethlehem. Not quite as romantic as it could be.
...there's a lot of things you can say about this one.
A protest of Israeli students against Israeli settlers.
The infamous Security Wall.
I promised my mother a picture of me wearing a kippah. This is it.
The settlement of Efrat. 25 years old. The rabbi who founded it is now going around collecting money from the residents to build schools in nearby palestinian villages.
Military service is required for almost all Israeli citizens of age. It's just a stage of life here, lie college back home. In fact, while most countries treat their soldiers with awe and respect, people here treat them like college students. They act like college students too. Except that, unlike most college students, they're all constantly armed with M-4 rifles.
The most reluctant tourist attraction in Jerusalem-- the central conservative Jewish neighborhood. Feels middle eastern again but the people are so different, and the place is so much quieter.
I'm confused by this.
Welcome to Israel.
Welcome to Ramallah.
I wish I could read these...
in stark contrast to the rest of town, Arafat's tomb is very clean and quiet.
Old town Jerusalem in the morning
Not your everyday road sign where I come from.
This is a lot more impressive if you try to do it in normal water. This is the dead sea. I could float in it up to my chest if I ”stood“ upright in deep water.
Petra by candlelight. The music was haunting. The camera flashes, less so.
Eat like an Egyptian.
No camels or Horses.
Kitty want some shakshuka?
This makes me feel like I've hit Africa.
Tomb entrance in the valley of the kings.
We biked to the valley of the kings. Uphill, in the desert.
Ladies, and Gentlemen, the River Nile.
Whipping out the dough for a pizza/pancake dish.
Poor donkey... he and his kind are everywhere pulling huge loads in the city.
first glance of something unusual behind the suburbs
A couple big brick triangles in Egypt.
I'd appreciate feedback on this one. There was a massive grassroots effort a few days ago involving a few prominent NGOs and a lot of volunteers that tried to get into Gaza from the Egyptian border, with a lot of organized Palestinians meeting them from the other side. I met several when I was in Israel. They weren't allowed in, and some came to protest here, in front of this building. Some of them are now under house arrest. The thing is, from what I understood, this was a massive undertaking. But I haven't seen a word about it in the media. Has anyone heard about it at all?
Because I'm pretty sure someone in my family wanted a picture of me on a pyramid.
The biggest pyramid. They was covered with a smoother layer that has since fallen away-- though the next biggest still has some of it on the top.
You can see the smooth layer on the closest pyramid.
The sphinx is not that big compared to the pyramids, and it looks like more than just its nose has fallen off. The right half of the face seems to be recessed. Still, it is the great sphinx.
Inside the pyramid. Seems like a simple passagway and stairs, but I spotted a couple intriguing passageways hidden in the low ceiling. They're blocked off...
Cairo streets at night.
I get the impression Sattellite TV does well in the Arab world.
Inside some of the once-pretty colonial buildings looks a lot like this.
Notice the mark on the guy's forehead? It's not something wrong with the poster. Many of the men here have big bruises in their foreheads. A canadian I met claims its because they pray fervently enough here that they hit their heads on the ground harder than elsewhere when kneeling to pray.
Picking teams. Some things are pretty much universal.
A collage from some of the thumbnails i scavenged of the stolen photos from Ethiopia. My computer had saved a few as thumbnails, and I pasted a couple together.
Common traffic in Ethiopia. These donkey carts are what at first most made me feel like I'd arrived in Africa
UN vehicles are a common sight in Ethiopia
The Ethiopian coffee ceremony. It's a pretty simple ceremony. Roast coffee beans, grind coffee beans, boil to make coffee, add a couple spoonfulls to a cup of sugar, serve. Tasty stuff, I dont usually drink coffee, but the sugar lets me pretend it's just coffee flavored ice cream, melting down and boiling hot.
From the “hallway” of my hotel in Moyale, Kenya. That truck on the right is the kind I rode in on.
Flat tire. The explosion really did sound like a gunshot, even to the guy in fron holding a gun.
The scenery we bounced by was pretty impressive.
Tiny towns seen from the top of the truck. Often they would include a “police checkpoint” where our driver would pay a bribe so we could go on.
Part of the road is being paved by a chinese company. the rest of it is in the shape you can see here.
This is not a hotel. It's an underground gift shop selling crafts from West Africa. My little free film camera couldn't get any pics to come out in the dark rooms, but if you're in the river road area of nairobi, look for this sign.
Public campaign signs lie this one are pretty common throughout Africa.
The seat for 30 people for over twenty bumpy hours.
Wasn't until this trip that I learned that Wildebeest and Gnu are the same animal
Look for the bird on the back of this giraffe's neck
”...I will eat more leaves than I should.“
“and some other animals will DIE.”
Buzzards. If you're going to call a bird bald, make it really bald.
King of beasts.
Before this safari, I'd only ever seen this bird in canon photography ads in National Geogrphic.
This was my tent. Normally I'd say it came with everything but the kitchen sink, but if you look closely in the back you will see that it has that too.
Campfire. Can you tell I'm enjoying this new camera?
Baboons, noticing something about themselves for the first time.
We saw a lot of gazelle and impala running around, tails waving. Supposedly that indicates nervousness.
Zebra- adult in the background, colt in the forground.
Lots of babies around this time of year for all species.
Buffalo. I was told these are actually the most dangerous animal to humans on the Masai Mara. Just because they're herbavores doesn't mean they won't get territorial and charge.
Jackal circling an off-camera kill gaurded by a pair of male lions.
Anthill. I don't want to be bitten by the ants that made this one.
Ostriches doing a meercat impression.
We saw a lot of interesting birds both in the trees and on the ground.
It's amazing seeing something that big turn out to be a living breathing creature.
Mom takes the kids out for a hunting lesson.
Simba! Actually, that's just the kiswahili word for lion.
The mara river. If you look closely you'll see a couple of hippo snouts.
The croc was nice enough to smile for the camera without being asked.
Dead hippo. Unusual opportunity to see the full body, which was cool. Also to smell the whole dead body, which was less cool.
I wouldn't want to make a nest in a place that thorny.
I'm glad I know english, otherwise I probably would have intepreted this sign as saying something like “trespassers will be shot on sight.”
Some of the colors out here are really incredible.
I didn't see it happen, but apparently one of these guys actually snuck into our van.
When you take a picture of someone making that facial expresson, you later wonder if maybe you should've been pointing the camera at what they were looking at.
It's a peaceful place, but you see a lot of bones and carcasses around. The carnivores are here.
This calf was born the day this picture was taken. The placenta is nearby in the grass.
This Masai man was my age, but already married with a baby boy. Also twenty something cows, goats, sheep, two dogs, and a cat. Am I behind?
Just before dawn on th savannah. The ground was actually much lighter, but that's photography for you.
The roads of the savannah.
Some of the grazers had some really interesting coloring. I never caught the name of these guys.
Enjoying the morning sun.
Sometimes in a different culture, logic doesn't seem to work the same way as it does back home. We drove a different way across these puddles. Five vans behind us chose this way. Each and every one of them got stuck in the exact same spot. We had to pull them each out in turn. You'd think at some point one of them would have decided to go the way we had instead...
Tracks of the safari.
...nice light fixture.
The ubiquitous African gift shop.
A lot of small towns in Africa remind me of old American Western towns in some ways.
Rain comes to the grasslands
Anti corruption box. First time I've seen one of those.
I'm sorry it's out of focus, but the name was too perfect.
Meat and Matoke, plus tomatoes. Simple and tasty-- the matoke isn't sweet like bananas would be.
Not yo mama's camper.
Jackfruit. Don't get hit by one fallng off the tree,it weighs several pounds.
Bus station in Kampala.
Colobus monkeys! Just look at those tails. This family liked hanging around our cabins, near the crater lake by Fort Portal.
Rain forced us to duck into a church. The priest here was very hospitable.
When we came in from the rain, we got a little performance.
When I was in elementary school, I was in a marimba band that included a lot of drums like these. Seeing this and mancala games being sold was a surprising throw back for me.
Read classified ads in foreign countries. It's really entertaining and you learn a lot. In Uganda, you find things like “Virgin lady wants white man for marriage.”
Lake Bunyonyi, seen from a bit further down.
The trails above Lake Bunyonyi.
Apparently vodka comes in little plastic packets here.
I hung and had lunch with these guys in Kigali while they took a break from loading a truck. Manual laborers know where the cheap, filling food is.
The Kigali memorial had a lot of symbolic gardens outside. This “elephant” is holding a cell phone to tell the international community what happened.
I stayed in a hotel sponsored by the church of St Famille. I was a little startled to find pictures of it in the memorial, with the story that the parish had taken in hundreds who had come to seek refuge, and then turned them over to the death squads.
A room designed to refute the idea that it never happened.
Don't read it if you're squeamish.
Tree lined streets like this could be found in most developed countries I can think of. Kigali has done well.
Call me a cynic, but it makes so much sense to me that these two share office space.
Rusumo Falls, on the Tanzanian/Rwandan border.
Reminds me of someone telling me how often very young east African kids do poorly on western aptitude tests because of questions skewed away from them. For example, you ask them what color water is, they say brown, and you think they're either color blind, dumb, or just can't speak English very well.
i got slaughtered at checkers by both of these guys. They play with flying kings. I tried teaching them the rules I was used to, and I still only took one of two games.
In the tiny little town of Benao, the kids LOVED to pose and see their picture.
I got up very early to hitch my way out of Benaco. There's only one paved road, and it turned out to havve a night patrol, with clubs and a bow and arrow. The bow and Arrow guy still wanted to pose.
Burundi refugee camps. I came within an ace of heading to Burundi if it weren't for safety warnings from six different government websites. Seeing this, I'm glad I went straight to Tanzania. I wonder how they've been here...
I hitched a ride with a pair of Muslim Rwandan Arsenal fans, driving an empty gas tanker to Dar es Salaam.
This was my ride to Dar Es Salaam from Benaco.
A good East African meal. Surprisingly hard to find in a big city, easy in a small town.
Married? In rural Tanzania? Hope you're packing the marriage certificate.
Tanzanian countryside. 1100 km of this.
Somehow I feel PETA would do poorly in this part of the world.
Classic Zanzibar door, in Stone Town. It's a style handed down by the Arab spice trade rulers of 300 years ago. Supposedly the spikes were originally included to repel attacking war elephants, but even if there were any on the island, an elephant that could be squeezed down the tiny lanes here would need more dissuading than that.
Fiddler crabs. None of us were ever pinched, but we did have them skitter across our feet a lot at night.
Lots of cool shells to find on the beaches here.
When we stayed in Jambiani, we got to join fireside drum circles of skilled drummers and dancers and enthusiastic (if somewhat tuneless) singers.
The owner of our hotel in Jambiani was part japanese. Sea urchin, or Uni, is something of a specialty, though us anglophones were never served this one.
A battered, freestanding stairway to nowhere on Jambiani beach. Nice to sit up on top of.
Lots of shells-- reminded me of the shell wind chimes we made in elementary school in Seattle.
That is a very flat tire on our van.
When we moved to Nungwe beach, we found these guys doing flip after flip off that tire. I should learn how to do that.
Best hotel warning sign ever.
Hey kids, did you know that “feo' is Spanish for ugly? Neither did they!
Market day. If you've ever wondered how African women balance these things on their heads, you can find one the tricks here. Look closely at what's under the basket, and you'll find a cloth circlet. It fits a bit like a crown, and makes a level surface to put thingas a on. A lot easier than balancing stuff on a round head.
This is the window of a minivan, and the hands of street vendors who rush minivans to sell their wares. Sometimes they're more successful than they should be. The worst though was having three goats sold to a passenger once. They were tied up and shoved under the seats, screaming. I didn't know they could make that noise.
Morning. The Night watchman. The irony didn't hit me until much later.
The middle of malawi was hit with floods, washing out one bridge and destroying crops that were just about ready for harvesting.
Go Mariners! They even have fans in Malawi! Even if the guy wearing the hat actually has no idea what it means.
The traditional tribal videographer, a job handed down generation after generation. Yes.
Even the kids gt in on the dance-- some of them were really good, too.
It's realy a shame people here are so camera-shy.
Victoia Falls as seen from the top path. When the water is lower, you can actually walk across the bigger stones.
This is about as much as you can see from a distance. This is only a tiny fraction of the falls. If you head into the mist, they just keep going.
I've said it before, I'll say it again: Eat Local Food. This guy was so impressed that I'd sought out nsima and village chicken at the village market that he brought me back to his home to meet his family. Also would've bought me dinner and a dozen beers if I'd let him.
A "Smart Sista," huh? So how about those white male customers of yours.
A long, straight road. Went like this for miles and miles and miles.
No thumbs allowed.
The green starts givng way to the desert.
About to head down. Now if only the guy with the dune buggy had stuck around to help us back up afterwards...
Pretty cool... except I was using Goofy stance a second before. Woops.
Hot dog. (...what?)
After running down the hot side of the dune by himself a second time.
Sea lions like these were stretched across the beach as far as you could see. Why does this remind me so much of spring break in Cancun?
This is a Pelican. This is a Pelican doing a double-take.
Uncle Seagull wants YOU.
Big seal, Little seal.
This parrot likes beer. Apparently he used to talk, back when his previous owner fed him whisky and coke.
People were surprised that I'd never sen a sign like this before.
Special Olympics, Nambia. I volunteered for a day helping out with a soccer session here in Windhoek. I think the kids were better than me.
One of the first things I saw upon arriving in Cape Town. This will be an interesting way to greet visitors here for the world cup...
The art scene in Cape Town was kind of hard to find. I did get to contemporary art exhibition with stuff like... this.
Downtown Cape Town. That's Table Mountain in the backround.
I recognize only one chinese character here--zhong. It means middle, but it's used in the word for China and Chinese.
Inside one of the nicer townships. Originally I snapped this because I loved the idea of a sign with an arrow that said "Retreat", but I think I captured more than I bargained for.
This is a tribute to one of my father's favorite jokes. Ask him sometime.
World cup stadium!
Nice bay, yes?
Wilderness is going through some dry, dry times.
The farm hostel I stayed at in Wilderness let us pick whaterver we wanted from the fields. Kitchen wasn't amazingly stocked, but it had a little honey for the squash. Rough life, huh?
Inside the Red Location Museum in Port Ellizabeth. It's a moving, if somewhat disorganized homage to the slum of Red Location and the sturggles that happened nearby during Apartheid. Apparently this is a photo of police distinguishing (sic) a fire.
Inside a preserved colonial house from the 19th century. Read the poem. It's a little, well, creepy.
A “Childs Guide” in the library of the colonial house. Two shelves below it was a “Young Lady's Book.”
A proper Afrikaaner Braai (that's “barbecue” to us yanks).
Life at your average South African backpacker hostel.
Coffee Bay. Spent most of my day here sitting in a tree overlooking this view and reading. Surfing was good, too.
I've lost track of how many dogs like this I've run into in the hostels and homes I've stayed at. Small, meduim haired, friendly. Usually their owners complain I spoil them rotten with attention.
The BAT center in durban. Part art studio, part shops, part perfomrance space, it's probably where I'd be spending a lot of my time if I lived around here.
Chicken bunny? It's actually a Durban tradition called Bunny Chow-- take a loaf of unsliced sandwich bread, cut it into quarters, partially hollow the quarters out, and then fill them with delicious indian curry. The mince kebab one was delicious. Durban has a very large Indian population and has for more than a hundred years. This was a clever way they come up with for packing lunches here.
The only other place I remember seeing birds like this is Australia. Apparantly they're known called an Ibis.
Birdlife of the Durban Botannical Gardens.
I found this in a rough area of town where you're not supposed to take out anything flashy like a digital camera. But this sign was just too good to pass up.
This signs were all over South African cities. They're the headlines for the local papers. And they're never of good news.
Hey, that's a metal knife with my airline food!
Beautiful facades on some of these ancient walls and doorways.
Inside what I think was the mansion of a merchant family.
Tannery as seen from the roofs. This is for sheep leather. A combination of limestone and pigeon... dung, is used to get the wool off.
Not all of Morocco is ancient. This is Tangier.